Perhaps one of the curses of old age is the ability to look back over your life and see with some sort of clarity your "hits and misses"
I could fill another blog with all the stupid things I did but for the sake of brevity I am going to keep this relatively short.
In some sort of numerical order, I'm going back to my own paper route days. (early 1960's) I saved my hard earned money from the route, mowed grass, shoveled snow then bought and stashed my own make up and shoes. Every once in a while I was given the job of cleaning both locker rooms and I was able to find a skirt big enough to fit me, so essentially I was in business.
I lived in a rural area so imagine my surprise when one of my only available friends and especially his Mom seemed into us dressing as girls. Also during this time, I began to drive an old 55 Ford around the barnyard and try to smoke his Mom's Lucky Stripes cigarettes. Quite the combination of experiences. It's hard to say how far all of this "experimentation" would have taken us as he moved away not long after that. I was 14.
Fast forward to 1967 when I went to Proms as a senior and desperately wanted to be the girl only to know the Vietnam War and the draft was bearing down on me as hard as a runaway truck. I worked the college route hard for four years until my lottery number came up in the teens and I was off to the Army. The only lottery I have won to this day, but I hit the jackpot. Along with many other raw soldiers during the winter of 1968 at Ft. Knox, I learned the hard way how team work really worked and how to get into shape. All the time licking my wounds from pre Army breakup from my finance who knew I was a cross dresser. She said tell the Army I was gay or she was gone.
Little did I know I would see three continents in three years compliments of Uncle Sam and most important, I met the mother of my daughter who is my most cherished possession. I also didn't know of the benefits I have to this day (unless the Republicans take them away.)
After the Army I tried to drink my gender dysphoria away for years to no avail, went through two marriages and tried to actively commit suicide once.
As I said...this post should and will be presented in more than one part. Stay tuned :)